According to Coyle, described by Sky News Australia as Cheng’s longtime boyfriend, consular officials last saw Cheng on April 30 and her family doesn’t know when they’ll restart.
Coyle also said there were serious concerns for Cheng’s health, 其中有 “been an issue all through the 21 months of her detention.”
“Fortunately we’re dealing with about the strongest person I know, 精神上, emotionally, but there have been difficult health challenges along the way,” 他说.
According to Coyle, Cheng’s health issues are being exacerbated by an inadequate prison diet. “There were excuses given because of Covid and food restrictions. 现在, there have been no food restrictions in Beijing, I talk to people there literally every day,” 他说. “So the idea that the detention center couldn’t get adequate food is just not acceptable.”
Chinese authorities have not revealed details of the allegations against Cheng and observers have raised concerns over the secretive court process.
三月, Australia’s ambassador to China Graham Fletcher was denied entry to the start of Cheng’s trial in Beijing
, a move he called
“We can have no confidence in the validity of a process which is conducted in secret,” 他说, adding that Australia had no information about the charges or allegations against Cheng. “That is part of the reason why we’re so concerned because we have no basis on which to understand why she’s been detained.”
Cases related to national security are typically tried behind closed doors in China. But the lack of transparency in Cheng’s case against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between China and Australia has prompted concerns from analysts that the charges may be politically motivated.
Coyle told Sky News Australia that Cheng was somebody “who wasn’t involved in politics.”
“The idea she was focusing on the political issues in Australia and China — she wasn’t. She’s a straight up business reporter,” 他说, adding that the nature of her work in the business world meant she wasn’t pursuing anything that would be considered politically sensitive.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me. 它从来没有,” 他说.
In her spare time, Cheng was very active in the Australian community in Beijing. Asked if that put a “目标” 在她的背上, Coyle said, “谁知道, 我的意思是, she was extremely giving of her time to the Australian community.”
Cheng’s two children are being cared for by their grandmother in Melbourne
, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Coyle said the children are “dealing with things as well as they can” 但 “that’s even more reason why she needs to be back. It’s not about me, it’s about her and her kids.”
“I really feel for her mom and dad. They have gone through hell as well through this. It’s awful,” 他说.